Originally published by Sparefoot.
The coronavirus pandemic may have prompted a nationwide shutdown of businesses and schools. Yet the pandemic has hardly shut down Public Storage’s quest to build its portfolio.
The Glendale, CA-based self storage REIT has purchased or agreed to purchase 54 facilities in 18 states since the end of September. In all, Public Storage is paying $686.9 million for 4.9 million net rentable square feet. The acquisitions include a 36-property, 13-state portfolio that the REIT picked up in an off-market deal. A dozen of the 54 properties are under construction.
Public Storage’s 2020 acquisition pace has ramped up dramatically. During the nine months ended Sept. 30 — before the 54 facilities were scooped up — the REIT had purchased 19 self-storage facilities with nearly 1.4 million net rentable square feet for $282.4 million. With the 54 new acquisitions, this year’s 73 purchases completed or under contract put the REIT’s acquisition total at nearly $970 million.
The Acquisition Market has Opened up
Joe Russell, president and CEO of Public Storage, said the company continues to hunt for on-the-market and off-market acquisitions in the U.S. and other countries. “The acquisition market clearly has opened up,” he said during the REIT’s Nov. 5 call with Wall Street analysts.
Russell said low interest rates and the resilience of the self-storage sector have set up Public Storage for a “very active 2020__” on the acquisition front. However, he added, Public Storage hasn’t simply flipped a switch and decided, “__Let’s just go buy whatever we can get our hands on.” Rather, he said, the REIT relies on “__very disciplined analytics__” to guide its acquisition decisions.
As of Sept. 30, the company’s U.S. portfolio exceeded 2,500 facilities, with the REIT planning to develop 12 facilities and expand 26 facilities at a cost of $563.2 million.
Other highlights of Public Storage’s third-quarter earnings:
- Same-store revenue decreased 2.7% to $611.5 million.
- Same-store NOI dropped 3.7% to $435.8 million.
- Same-store operating expenses dipped 0.1% to $175.7 million.
- Same-store occupancy stood at 95.5%.
- Move-out volume declined 13.1% compared with the same period last year.